Life After Tapan Zee

Therese A. Levesque
French & Latin

Commonly known as Miss Levesque to her closest friends none of whom were students.

Miss Levesque had a bigger impact on her students at Tappan Zee than Manny had on Moe in the Three Stooges.

Cold, remote, haughty, demanding, uncompromising and impossible to please are some of the attributes noted by many students. No matter what the student did, Miss Levesque knew that the student could have done better. No matter what the effort there could have been more expended. For lazy guys and gals like me, Miss Levesque was a nightmare. She did teach that impossible standards can be reached and that most of us could do better than what we were doing. She had no interest in making friends only making scholars out of human clay. She would mold us to her standards and then let the anger she created fire the clay into a usable vessel.

She may have had a personal life but it was very carefully hidden from all students. Her only concern visible to any of us was the creation of standards of scholarship and then raising the bar of those standards. She was, for me, one of the most memorable teachers I ever had the distinct pleasure of being challenged by. Years after graduation she saw me at a funeral. When I mentioned that I had just been promoted well ahead of my contemporaries in the military her only comment was: "What took you so long?" On balance she opened scholarship doors that served me well for years.

Submitted by: Brian Mcmahon Sr. - Class of '53


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